Key West & Everglades

Old Aug 1st, 2017, 02:38 AM
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Key West & Everglades

Disembarking from our very first cruise at Miami early AM (Mid November) and wanted to add a few days to enjoy a scenic drive and spot some wildlife (Hiring a car) before flying home to UK. Always wanted a short visit to the Everglades and to drive to Key West (& back !) but what's the realistic minimum number of days needed. I was hoping it could be done in as little as, say 4 ?
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Old Aug 1st, 2017, 04:28 AM
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I am assuming you have consulted a map and if not then please do so just to get a look at the geography if nothing else.

First, where are you planning to hire the car? At a downtown Miami location or out at the airport? The latter may add to the overall cost given the possibility of so-called airport "concession" fees.

Anyway, the road trip to Key West is approximately 160 miles one way and after you pass through Greater Miami there really is only one route you can take.

I live in Florida and I agree the drive is worthwhile at least once; down AND back? Yeah, perhaps but flying back to Miami may be more problematic and costly than it is worth although there may not be any drop charges to do so in Key West itself.

The difficulty with that scenario might be your desire to see some part of the Everglades. If you DID want to drop the car and fly back to Miami I would do the Everglades part FIRST, THEN do the drive through the Keys to KW, drop the car and fly back to MIA for your subsequent flight home.

This is simply ONE of many possibilities. Hang around; others will certainly give you alternative ideas.

As to overall time spent: to do the KW part alone I would want four days.
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Old Aug 1st, 2017, 04:32 AM
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BTW, IMO you do not need a car IN Key West since the part of town you really, REALLY want to be/stay in is Old Town and that is walkable.
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Old Aug 1st, 2017, 05:28 AM
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I think 4 days would work well.

Key West hotels are pretty expensive. Be sure to look at some of the B&Bs, you can rent something interesting for less money than a nothing hotel room.
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Old Aug 1st, 2017, 08:31 AM
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Hi Dukey1 and thanks. Yes, I've consulted a map. Looks like I'll be hiring from Hertz. The closest depot from the port seems to be Alton Road in the City. No intention to fly back from Key West, will drive to airport, (possibly via Everglades if not done before Key West) for flight home to UK.
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Old Aug 1st, 2017, 08:53 AM
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Enjoy your trip.
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Old Aug 1st, 2017, 09:06 AM
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Agreed, 4 days is good here. Haven't been to the Everglades, but my limited research suggests one day is fine for this.
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Old Aug 1st, 2017, 03:07 PM
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I agree that you will likely see a variety of wildlife if you spend just one day in the Everglades. Enter the main entrance, spend some time at the Visitors Center (ask for advice on how best to see animals), and walk the Anhinga Trail. Do only that and you may well see quite a bit of wildlife -- herons, alligators, cormorants, anhingas, and others.

You might see something like
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pr77x/5...7625646138065/
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Old Aug 2nd, 2017, 03:57 AM
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Absolutely doable, at least to get a taste of the keys and the everglades. I would however check other car rental agencies. Hertz has a downtown location, the Alton road location you mention is in Miami beach and would take you slightly off course. Also check out sixt car rental, Alamo and budget. All with locations close to the cruise port.
The cruise ships arrive very early I would disembark as soon as possible and take off for homestead as soon as you can get your rental. I would then drive to homestead. If you can get there early enough (11/12) you can tour that area of the everglades and maybe make it all the way to the flaming visitor center. Then stay the night in homestead and take off in the morning for key West. In key West you can stay 2 nights before driving back to Miami.
In homestead you can get some great Mexican food. Check reviews for hotels as some areas can be shady.
Hope this helps. Good luck
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